Vietnam has no new COVID-19 case to report on August 30

Vietnam has no new COVID-19 infections to report on the whole of August 30, and this is the first of such day since July 25, keeping the national count of the pandemic at 1,040.

Of the total, 690 are locally transmitted, with 550 linked to the outbreak in the central city of Da Nang since the date.

The committee’s treatment sub-committee reported that 695 out of the 1,040 patients have been given the all-clear. The death toll has reached 32.

Among the active patients, 40 have tested negative for the coronavirus once, 48 twice and 27 three times.

As many as 54,392 people having close contacts with COVID-19 patients and entering the country from pandemic-hit regions are being quarantined, including 1,212 at hospitals, 14,103 at other facilities, and 39,077 at home.

Cleared COVID-19 patient who tested positive again now negative

Vietnam has no new COVID-19 case to report on August 30

Two members of Da Nang city's Centre for Disease Control work with medical samples at a laboratory in Da Nang.

A COVID-19 patient who tested positive again on Monday, 14 days after leaving hospital having been declared healthy, tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 on Friday afternoon.

Patient 424 will need more negative tests during her quarantine at a hospital in the coming days.

The city’s Centre for Disease Control (CDC) said the patient had been released from Hoa Vang field hospital on August 10 after 14 days of treatment and isolation. She had tested negative for SARS-CoV-2 three times before leaving the hospital for two weeks of isolation at home.

In the last test at home after completing 14-day home isolation, the patient tested positive again for SARS-CoV-2 and was taken to a hospital along with three relatives for quarantine on Monday.

Doctors from Da Nang General Hospital said it was the first such case in the city since the coronavirus outbreak on July 25, but they said this case would unlikely cause further infections.

The three relatives of patient No 424 have all tested negative for SARS-CoV-2.

Doctors from the CDC said the patient needs at least two negative tests to leave the hospital and she will then be isolated at home, as will her relatives, for two weeks and must test negative twice more.

The CDC also said 3,211 foreigners in Đà Nẵng had tested negative for SARS-CoV-2. All medical samples of foreigners were tested using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Also on Friday, social distancing orders were lifted in Hoi An City, Dien Ban Town and Duy Xuyen District in the central province of Quang Nam as no cases of SARS-CoV-2 in the community have been reported in 14 days.

Coffee shops and restaurants are opened, but all gatherings are limited under 20 people.

Bus routes from Quang Nam to Da Nang and Quang Ngai, as well as taxi and tour cars, are still banned. 

Hospitals in Hanoi and Bac Ninh suspended from operations for failing to comply with anti-COVID-19 protocols

Three hospitals in Hanoi and one in northern Bac Ninh Province that failed to comply with COVID-19 prevention and control protocols have had their operations suspended, according to the Ministry of Health.

The Ministry of Health mobilised inspection teams to assess the safety level of hospitals' COVID-19 prevention measures.

According to results, the General Hospital of Bac Ninh Province is safe. The General Hospital of Ha Nam Province, Hanoi Nephrology Hospital and Hanoi Lung Hospital only ensured safety at a low level.

The Hong Phuc General Hospital in Bac Ninh Province and three hospitals in Hanoi, namely Sai Gon-Hanoi Eyes Hospital located on Nguyen Du Street, Viet Nam-Japan Eyes Hospital on Trieu Viet Vuong Street and Hitec Eyes Hospital on Ham Long Street, are unsafe.

Those unsafe hospitals have been temporarily barred from receiving patients.

The Hanoi Health Department has conducted inspections at 46 out of 80 hospitals in the capital city as of August 21. Among those, 34 hospitals ensure safe anti-COVID-19 measures. Nine others maintained safety at low levels and three are unsafe.

The unsafe hospitals or hospitals classified to have low levels of safety did not comply with the steering committee’s instructions in patient screening and reception. The safe distance between beds was also not ensured.

The Treatment Unit of the National Steering Committee on COVID-19 Prevention and Control asked directing boards of those hospitals to review responsibilities.

Heads of the medical examination and infection control departments, and nurses at intensive care units of those hospitals must be criticised for failing to follow the safety regulations, it said.

The directing boards of the hospitals must consider suspending department heads.

The Treatment Unit asked local health departments to step up hospital inspections to closely monitor COVID-19 prevention and control work and fully report to the steering committee.

According to the Ministry of Health, inspection reports from some localities showed that most of the hospitals are safe or have low safety levels.

The ministry praised Hanoi for taking prompt action against unsafe hospitals and urged other localities to follow the capital city’s actions. Local health departments will conduct the inspections again at unsafe hospitals to check if safety measures have improved.

At the online briefing session with central-level hospitals and health departments of the provinces and cities on Thursday, Acting Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long noted that all hospitals are exposed to the risk of COVID-19 infection. Attention to safety needs must also be paid at healthcare facilities unlikely to have infection risks like obstetrics and paediatrics hospitals.

"Medical facilities failing to comply with anti-pandemic measures must be suspended from operation. If violations continue, the hospitals directors will hold responsibilities for that no matter the hospitals are State-owned or private,” he said.

Danang to ease social distancing rules

Danang authorities announced on August 28 that they would gradually ease social distancing regulations beginning from September.

Le Trung Chinh, vice chairman of Danang People's Committee cum deputy head of the city Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control, said they had tested 121,000 people and confirmed 387 positive cases. 168 patients have been discharged from hospital, 186 people are receiving treatment and 24 people have died.

The authorities helped 1.7 million tourists leave the city. They are still sending employees from other cities and provinces home per request.

According to Chinh, as the situation gets better, the public is likely to become complacent. Starting from September, they would start easing the social distancing rules gradually, so they would need more effective solutions in order to ensure the economy recovery.

Ngo Thi Kim Yen, vice head of Danang Department of Health, said they had tested small traders, medical staff, foreigners, workers at two industrial parks that have outbreaks and students who attended the national high school graduation exams. Workers at four other industrial parks still haven't been tested.

Yen suggested using the next week to test 100,000 people at a cost of VND50bn (USD2.1m) to be completely safe. The authorities will give VND21bn to 2,237 Covid-19 prevention and control teams to work in the next two months. Yen said citizens must get used to the new normal for daily activities to be resumed.

Danang authorities promised to strictly follow prime ministerial Directive 16 about Covid-19 prevention. When the situation gets better, they will relax social distancing rules for specific sectors and issue directives about how to behave in public places.

The city authorities agreed to speed up the constructions of key projects and provide financial supports for Covid-19 victims. They asked the government to build a special mechanism for Danang to recover the economy. In the current time, they will focus on supporting poor people and ensure that operation at industrial parks will not be disrupted.

Huynh Duc Tho, chairman of Danang People's Committee, said if the situation allowed, they would relax the social distancing rules in several areas on September 1. Areas in the danger zones will still have to follow social distancing rules.

Nguyen Van Quang, deputy party secretary of Danang, said the localities authorities should take a lesson and look at their weakness for letting a second wave occurs to avoid a similar situation in the future. Quang agreed that Danang can afford to relax the social distancing rules, however, it's safer to wait for the test results of 14,000 teachers and students after the high school graduation exam.

Party Secretary of Danang Truong Quang Nghia asked the Civil Affairs Committee of Danang to build the directives about how to behave in public after social distancing rules are relaxed.

Millions lose jobs because of Covid-19

The new virus outbreak has affected 70% of local firms with 3.5-5 million people laid off or set to have their work hours reduced according to the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs. 

Before the Covid-19 outbreak, 80,000-90,000 joined the job market and about 11,000 became guest workers in other countries every month. However, since April and May, about 60,000 people became unemployed each month after raw material supply chains were interrupted and goods were unable to be exported.

The second wave would have an even larger impact on the economy and private sector, especially small-scale companies will be in great difficulties because the market will be in a near-frozen state. The ministry has consulted with the government to launch a second financial support package focusing on accommodation, tourism and service sectors.

In the worst-case scenario, Vietnam will continue to see 60,000-70,000 people become unemployed every month in late 2020 and up to 70% of the local firms will feel the impact. The number of people that will be laid off or have their work hours reduced and wages cut could reach 3.5-5 million people.

The economic growth rate in the second quarter was 1.81%, the lowest in the past 10 years. 1.3 million people also lost their jobs during this time.

 

Ta Van Thao, director of Hanoi Centre of Employee Service, said currently 400 people were claiming unemployment insurance each day. This number still hasn't changed much compared to 2019's figures because Hanoi’s economy is still vigorous. The impact on the market could be affected by the outbreak development and any official responses.

Moreover, when Covid-19 affected the job markets in January and March, they saw a surge in the number of people filing for unemployment insurance in April and May. They still have to wait to see how the second wave has affected the market.

When filing for unemployment insurance, the employees will be given financial support and other supports such as free vocational courses if they want. They will be given VND1m a month for a maximum of six months on vocational training. After finishing the course, they will be given a job offer.

Thailand tightens border security to prevent COVID-19

The Interior Ministry of Thailand on August 28 asked the governors of the 10 provinces bordering Myanmar to tighten security along the border to prevent illegal immigration because of the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in the neighbouring country.

According to Thailand’s Centre for COVID-19 Situation Administration (CCSA) of the Thai Government, a new surge of COVID-19 cases been reported in Myanmar, where 580 more patients have been confirmed since August 16, most in Sittwe – the capital of Rakhine state, which borders Bangladesh and the Bay of Bengal.

Permanent secretary of the ministry Chatchai Phromlert said he had issued the orders to the governors of Tak, Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Mae Hong Son, Kanchanaburi, Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Ratchaburi, Chumphon and Ranong, to block illegal migration through natural border crossings and enforce disease control measures on visitors at official crossings.

He urged officials to strictly adhere to the CCSA's disease prevention measures.

On the same day, deputy army chief Natthapon Nakpanich, chairman of the CCSA's panel on the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, said long-term foreign residents and foreigners with permanent residences in Thailand stranded overseas will receive priority when seeking to return to Thailand.

They will still be subject to a 14-day-quarantine.

Meanwhile, Thailand and Singapore have discussed the possibility of reopening travel for businesses as they are opening up the countries.

The Singaporean Foreign Ministry said the issue of business travel easing was discussed in a video conference between Thai permanent secretary for foreign affairs Busaya Mathelin and her Singapore partner, Chee Wee Kiong, on August 26.

Vietnam expected to access Covid-19 vaccines from COVAX AMC

The Australian Government has pledged a contribution of AUD$80 million to offer the Pacific and Southeast Asian countries, including Vietnam, easier access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines.

The Australian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release issued on August 26 that the country will support the Gavi COVAX Facility Advance Market Commitment (COVAX AMC) to offer the Pacific and Southeast Asian countries improved access to safe, effective and affordable vaccines against the novel coronavirus.

The COVAX AMC will secure and distribute COVID-19 vaccines to all countries and not just those that can afford to purchase or manufacture the vaccines themselves.

The AMC will address the acute phase of the pandemic, providing doses for up to 20% of the population across various countries in its first phase, ensuring that health care workers and vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, have access.

The Southeast Asian nations eligible for the COVAX AMC support are Vietnam, Indonesia, Timor-Leste, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and the Philippines. The eligible Pacific countries comprise Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Kiribati.

The ministry added that the access to vaccines will play a crucial role in the economic recovery of the region from this health crisis.

Further, Australia will continue to promote health security in the region through its role as the Vice-Chair of the Gavi Board.

International investment in vaccine manufacturing and procurement is stronger when nations work together. In making this investment, Australia joins key donors such as the United Kingdom, Canada, Italy and Norway.

The COVAX AMC forms part of the wider COVAX Facility, a global mechanism designed to enable rapid, fair and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines to bring the acute phase of the pandemic to an end by 2021.

Danang Hospital set to reopen after 30 days of lockdown

After 30 days of being locked down and used to mainly treat Covid-19 patients, Danang Hospital, which is believed to be the source of the second Covid-19 outbreak among the community in Vietnam since July 24, is getting ready to reopen its doors and receive patients.

The Danang City Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control on August 25 signed a decision permitting Danang Hospital to reopen. In addition to the decision, the Department of Health offered a four-stage operation plan for the city's largest general hospital to ensure safety.

Accordingly, from August 26, 2020, to August 28, 2020, Danang Hospital will prepare for the reopening, including disinfecting the entire hospital.

Two weeks after August 28, the hospital will be accepting patients with the most severe emergencies, apart from continuing to treat patients with kidney failure by hemodialysis and dispensing drugs for outpatients with peritoneal dialysis and after kidney transplantation and surgical operations.

In the third phase in the next two weeks, the hospital's specialized examination departments will be opened in a step-by-step manner. All medical treatments will be done in the fourth phase, depending on the development of the pandemic.

Late afternoon on August 25, the committee also updated the citywide situation over the pandemic.

It found seven new cases of Covid-19, bringing the total number of Covid-19 patients in the city since July to 386. Meanwhile, 128 patients have fully recovered.

Authorities bring home 230 Vietnamese citizens from Taiwan

As many as 230 Vietnamese citizens were flown home from Taiwan (China) on a flight of budget carrier Vietjet Air on August 29.

The flight was arranged by the Vietnamese authorities, Vietnam’s economic-culture office in Taiwan, the carrier, together with relevant agencies of Taiwan.

The passengers included the elderly, pregnant women, the ill, labourers with expired labour contracts, students without accommodations, stranded tourists, and others in extremely disadvantaged circumstances.

Security, safety and hygiene measures were carried out throughout the flight to protect their health and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Upon landing at the Can Tho International Airport in the Mekong Delta city of Can Tho, those on board received health check-ups and were sent to concentrated quarantine facilities.

More flights are set to be conducted in the time ahead to repatriate Vietnamese citizens with disadvantaged circumstances, depending on their need and quarantine capacity at home.

Vietnam records two COVID-19 deaths on August 29

A 28-year-old man in the central province of Quang Nam died on August 29 morning, becoming the youngest among Vietnam's 31 COVID-19-related fatalities.

According to the Ministry of Health, the patient, residing in Que Trung commune of Nong Son district, suffered from leukeamia.

The cause of death has been recorded as pneumonia caused by COVID-19, complications of septic shock and irreversible multi-organ failure in patients with acute leukeamia.

A 67-year-old woman in the central city of Da Nang died of coronavirus-related complications on August 29, the second death in a single day.

The woman, who lived in Lien Chieu district in the central city, had a number of underlying health issues, including kidney failure and type 2 diabetes.

She is the 32nd COVID-19-related death in Vietnam. Earlier on the day, a 28-year-old man with leukeamia also died.

The cause of death has been recorded as severe pneumonia, progressive respiratory failure caused by COVID-19, complications of septic shock and irreversible multi-organ failure.

Over 340 Vietnamese citizens brought home from Australia, New Zealand, Tonga

More than 340 Vietnamese citizens were brought home from Australia, New Zealand and Tonga aboard a Vietnam Airlines flight on August 28.

The flight was arranged by Vietnamese authorities, the Vietnamese representative agencies in Australia and New Zealand, the national flag carrier Vietnamese Airlines, and relevant agencies of the host countries.

Passengers included children under 18, the elderly, people with illnesses, students having no accommodation, and other disadvantaged cases.

Security, safety and hygiene measures were carried out throughout the flight to protect their health and prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Upon landing at the Noi Bai International Airport in Hanoi, those on board received health check-ups and were sent to concentrated quarantine facilities.

More flights are set to be conducted in the time ahead to repatriate Vietnamese citizens with disadvantaged circumstances, depending on their need and quarantine capacity at home.

 
 

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